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Grounds for Divorce


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

20 Iyyar 5765
A man from Bnei Braq wants to relocate to Jerusalem. If his wife refuses can he divorce her? Is he obliged to compensate her?
The Talmud (Ketubot 110b) and the Shulchan Aruch (EH 75; 4) both state, that the husband, or the wife, can demand living in Israel - if they don't yet, or in Yerushalaim - if they live somewhere else in Israel. The spouse must agree or if not he or she lose some of their rights when the other one fulfils his/ her request. For instance, the wife in this case would lose her Ketubah, but not her dowry. The Rema ibid adds that if the husband later on in time leaves Israel or Yerushalaim, he has to compensate and pay off his debt – since proven now that his intentions were not pure and he himself is not living in the holy place he demanded. On a practical note there is more to consider and more than one opinion therefore if the questions becomes practical the matter should be dealt in front of a Beth Din.
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